Daily Readings and Thought for July 25th. “YOUR WORDS BECAME TO ME A JOY”
The words of Jeremiah in his 15th chapter arrested our attention this morning. What a difficult life Jeremiah had after good king Josiah (see 2 Kings 23 v.16-28) was killed in battle (v.29). After his death only ungodly kings came on the throne until the nation completely disintegrated and the majority were taken into captivity. As this situation developed Jeremiah became very depressed as we read today in his 15th chapter.
“Woe is me, my mother that you bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land!” [v.10]. He is a lone voice in Jerusalem – but his words in v.16 jump out at us, especially as they have a real application to those of us today who live surrounded by ungodliness. ‘Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.”
The more we meditate – and discern with our minds – the words that God has caused to be written and preserved, the more we can each say God’s “words “have become to me a joy and the delight of my heart.” We can say with Jeremiah “I do not sit in the company of revellers, nor rejoice with them” [v.17] Why did Jeremiah say – and do – this? He said, “I sat alone, because your hand was upon me, for you had filled me with indignation.”
What of ourselves? Does God’s word come ‘alive’ in our minds and fill us with indignation at – at least some of the revelling and ungodliness we increasingly see? It depends on how we read God’s word! How ‘real’ is it to us? It also depends on the reality of our contact with our God whether we truly sense that “in him we live and move and have our being” [Acts 17 v.28] – as Paul quoted to the people at Athens.
Jeremiah’s words about what God declares are also most appropriate for us to take into our hearts (v.20) – especially as the life that surrounds us threatens to fall apart – as Jesus is at the point of returning to our world that has become so totally godless -.”I am with you to save you and deliver you, declares the LORD.” Surely this will apply when we can say to God – “Your “words have become to me a joy and the delight of my heart.”